Social actions at air navigation service provider skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

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mvg
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by mvg »

Phoenixx wrote:
17 May 2019, 10:47
mvg wrote:
17 May 2019, 10:18
@Phoenixx
I don’t agree with your view of the minimum service at all. There is no minimum service in Belgium. Listening to emergency frequencies and provide help to aircrafts in emergencies is not a minimum service. It is a legal obligation and the least you can do as professionals. One Atco (usually the supervisor) stays in the ops room but ALL the others are leaving when there is a strike. Is this a minimum service? No. It’s just common sense.
A minimum service like in France is better than nothing and enables at least airlines to fly on a reduced schedule and with delays. This is way better than a total closure.
And above all it is announced well in advance! Companies can take measures and organize themselves (advise and rebook passengers). Here the airspace was closed without notice: this is unacceptable! Strike without notice is in your rights and it should be removed from the long lists of rights that you have (and misuse) as state emloyees..

And the reasons of the closure are just ridiculous: for an information meeting that was finally cancelled! What image are you guys giving of your job?

About what the CEO is doing, as mentioned before, he isn’t doing great for sure. But he also knows what you are doing, how little you work on position, how early you are going home, how little the traffic figures are. So he doesn’t feel scared to use it against you.
Still waiting by the way to get answers about how many people are planned at ACC per shift and we then can see how ma u hours they work per day. Or is it a secret?
I'm not here to discuss this time or to defend yesterday, just counter wrong information.
It IS a minimum service by definition, and hate to break it to you but it's never just a supervisor.
I agreed it would be better for airlines and passengers to have a more extensive minimum service, I said it wouldn't solve anything.
There is a big difference. It would be better for continuity if we worked 30 days per month, that would not solve anything either.
And for your information, this was not a 'wild strike', the strike announcement has been there for months and is still valid.
While it was unexpected and unfortunate, the notice was there and the CEO knew very well this would happen.
They have been fishing for a strike for months, and they managed to push everyone over the line yesterday.
Once again, not here to defend, explain or argue about this.

Odd you mention low traffic figures, CEO keeps patting himself on the back for being among the best in Europe, so one of you is wrong.
I didnt give you the numbers because your assumptions regarding our work are wrong, so the only possible outcome is a wrong calculation, but sure: ACC has a Target staffing of 7 per early and 6 per late shift, staggered.
OK if you want to call "a minimum service" handling only traffic in emergency if there is a strike. We can play on the words.

Yesterday was not a wild strike because there was a "stakingsaanzegging/préavis de grève" for months? So that means that all airlines should have known about it and be ready for the strike? Which airline seriously cares about a small group of controllers that have requests that they don't even know what they mean? Do you think that (for example) an American airline or Chinese airline is taking into account the very important belgian "stakingsaanzegging/préavis de grève" when they make their daily planning? Come on controllers! You are not the centre of the world! Just a little part of the chain which unfortunately is not replacable.
When there is a strike in France, it is planned in advance, airlines take measures, reduce their number of flights and anticipate so that not too many people come to the airport. Here passengers were at the airport, waiting, angry at the counters. Would controllers now dare to face hostesses that were at the Brussels Airlines counter yesterday facing angry and agressive passengers (not all of them of course)? Would they dare to stand in front of them and explain their working conditions and why they are striking, sitting comfortably in their restroom while those employees are facing a queue of hundreds of people impatient and angry at them? In which world do controllers live?

I appreciate your time spent here and also that you don't want to defend yesterday's actions. We have notice that your explanations were often very precise and "to the point". But please tell your colleagues (they probably heard it already), those who lead this movement, that they are a disgrace to your profession. And a shame for our country.

About my "assumptions" about your work, they are not assumptions but situations observed several times recently accross all units/services of your company (all of them without exceptions, being the five towers, Canac, technical services, MET offices, briefing office, training centre, administrative building or the 5 star kitchen of your restaurant in Steenokkerzeel). Probably you haven't even seen all of them yourself ;)

The figures I mentioned are the traffic figures: they are low compared to other airports or units in Europe. The CEO speaks about safety figures and they are low as well, meaning there have been little incidents over the last two years, which is good but also normal when you don't have too much traffic.

About the figures for ACC: target of 7 Atcos per side (west or east):
- 7 Atcos for 7 hours to cover (a morning being from 07.00 till 14.00 then afternoons are coming)
- IF two sectors are open (for west it is the BIG maximum), that's 4 controllers into position at a time (2 per sector) -> 7 hours x 4 positions = 28 hours to cover -> 4 hours of work per Atco.
- if they collapse on one sector for 2 hours during the shift, the number of hours to cover falls down to 24 -> 3,5 hours per Atco per shift
- if they collapse on one sector for 4 hours during the shift, the number of hours to cover is 20 -> less than 3 hours per shift per Atco
Of course, if the target of 7 Atcos isn't met, they have to work a bit more OR collapse positions more...
Questions:
1) is that calculation wrong?
2) where else in Europe do Atcos work less than that?

Again Phoenixx, no personal blame. The leaders (those with extreme thoughts) read us but don't take time to defend themselves because they are undefendable. Thank you for your time.
Last edited by mvg on 17 May 2019, 14:01, edited 1 time in total.

Boeing767copilot
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Boeing767copilot »

I want to intervene to thank both Phoenixx and MVG for this interesting and polite debate on this forum. Continue like this, very interesting.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Boeing767copilot »

There have been rumors that ATCOs and unions asked additional fees. Amounts from 40,000 to 60,000 euros extra are mentioned. Is that correct, Phoenixx?

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by epsilon »

I see again several regulations today due to ATC staffing, slots upto 1 hour. Regulation EBWSC17A

Phoenixx
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

mvg wrote:
17 May 2019, 13:25
OK if you want to call "a minimum service" handling only traffic in emergency if there is a strike. We can play on the words.

Yesterday was not a wild strike because there was a "stakingsaanzegging/préavis de grève" for months? So that means that all airlines should have known about it and be ready for the strike? Which airline seriously cares about a small group of controllers that have requests that they don't even know what they mean? Do you think that (for example) an American airline or Chinese airline is taking into account the very important belgian "stakingsaanzegging/préavis de grève" when they make their daily planning? Come on controllers! You are not the centre of the world! Just a little part of the chain which unfortunately is not replacable.
When there is a strike in France, it is planned in advance, airlines take measures, reduce their number of flights and anticipate so that not too many people come to the airport. Here passengers were at the airport, waiting, angry at the counters. Would controllers now dare to face hostesses that were at the Brussels Airlines counter yesterday facing angry and agressive passengers (not all of them of course)? Would they dare to stand in front of them and explain their working conditions and why they are striking, sitting comfortably in their restroom while those employees are facing a queue of hundreds of people impatient and angry at them? In which world do controllers live?

I appreciate your time spent here and also that you don't want to defend yesterday's actions. We have notice that your explanations were often very precise and "to the point". But please tell your colleagues (they probably heard it already), those who lead this movement, that they are a disgrace to your profession. And a shame for our country.

About my "assumptions" about your work, they are not assumptions but situations observed several times recently accross all units/services of your company (all of them without exceptions, being the five towers, Canac, technical services, MET offices, briefing office, training centre, administrative building or the 5 star kitchen of your restaurant in Steenokkerzeel). Probably you haven't even seen all of them yourself ;)

The figures I mentioned are the traffic figures: they are low compared to other airports or units in Europe. The CEO speaks about safety figures and they are low as well, meaning there have been little incidents over the last two years, which is good but also normal when you don't have too much traffic.

About the figures for ACC: target of 7 Atcos per side (west or east):
- 7 Atcos for 7 hours to cover (a morning being from 07.00 till 14.00 then afternoons are coming)
- IF two sectors are open (for west it is the BIG maximum), that's 4 controllers into position at a time (2 per sector) -> 7 hours x 4 positions = 28 hours to cover -> 4 hours of work per Atco.
- if they collapse on one sector for 2 hours during the shift, the number of hours to cover falls down to 24 -> 3,5 hours per Atco per shift
- if they collapse on one sector for 4 hours during the shift, the number of hours to cover is 20 -> less than 3 hours per shift per Atco
Of course, if the target of 7 Atcos isn't met, they have to work a bit more OR collapse positions more...
Questions:
1) is that calculation wrong?
2) where else in Europe do Atcos work less than that?

Again Phoenixx, no personal blame. The leaders (those with extreme thoughts) read us but don't take time to defend themselves because they are undefendable. Thank you for your time.
I wasn't doing so for the wordplay, I was simply pointing out that there are still a supervisor and an atco present despite what everyone might think, we are following that legal obligation.
I was also making the point that a "minimum service" is an empty container by itself since even these 2 atcos in a big unit in this case serve no purpose to planned traffic affected by a strike or shortage.

I was not referring to the airlines that should have been aware of our strike announcement, i meant our management.
Like I said, and I do appreciate your tone and words, I do not agree completely on the what, the how and the effect we had on airspace users and their customers.

Honestly confused about the assumptions you are talking about here, but now you've made me quite curious to how and when you have seen all these units and what you experienced there.
I was talking about the calculations you do at the end of your post.
I won't argue with your maths obviously, but there you have the issue already, the staffing has to be prepared for opening all sectors actually, and we don't meet quite meet that anymore.
There are days where 7 is not enough and there are days where 7 is almost ridiculous. What's the point of keeping a sector open if there is no need for it?
You could calculate for one sector open all shift even, 14 hours, is 2 hours of work per atco and scream outrage about that, but do the calculation for 3 sectors and you have an issue. Aviation is a flexible and unpredictable thing, our job depends on traffic demands, weather, runway configuration in our airports and the surrounding ones, ... A reduction of staff means a reduction of possible maximum capacity and giving staff on extra break additional non-ops tasks could be an option, but changes nothing about the operational staff shortage we are facing now. Someone who is not there can not jump in and open a sector when it is needed, can not replace a sick colleague and can not assist in unusual of unexpected situations.

As long as you don't scream for my resignation or try to nail me to a cross like a lot of people, even here, i won't take much personal blame.
You know what you are talking about and while you may not agree on everything I say and vice versa, you listen. I prefer civilized conversation too.

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KriVa
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by KriVa »

Boeing767copilot wrote:
17 May 2019, 13:59
There have been rumors that ATCOs and unions asked additional fees. Amounts from 40,000 to 60,000 euros extra are mentioned. Is that correct, Phoenixx?
That sounds far from realistic, since not a single ATCO is asking for a raise/extra pay/monetary gain. All that’s asked is a structural and realistic solution for the staffing problem, combined with a realistic work-life balance.
So, I can’t say for sure it wasn’t mentioned, because I wasn’t in during the meetings, it sounds really, really far fetched compared to what I’ve been hearing from others.
Thomas

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

Boeing767copilot wrote:
17 May 2019, 13:59
There have been rumors that ATCOs and unions asked additional fees. Amounts from 40,000 to 60,000 euros extra are mentioned. Is that correct, Phoenixx?
I laughed a bit.
We have been refusing any and all financial benefits because that has always where we lost all sympathy and honestly money can not solve the issues this is about, which are work life balance, following rules and respecting the staff.
Maybe management made a calculation that one or all of our demands would cost the company this much to make our demands seem absurd (I strongly doubt it since we simply want our rights and rules respected), but I can tell you we did not make a demand for any additional fees, and surely not for amounts this ridiculously high. I have never even heard this before, where did you get this information if I may ask?

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by sean1982 »

Phoenixx wrote:
17 May 2019, 13:11

sean1982 wrote:
17 May 2019, 11:12
Welcome to the real world buddy, thats what I said that from your ivory towers you dont know anymore whats going on in the real world.

Can you confirm people came back from holidays and days off for that important meeting that no active controller on duty could miss?
I was reacting to false information in another post, turning my words won't make your point much stronger.
And I was not aware the real world somehow forces you to roll over and just accept whatever they throw at you. It can try though.

Kind of hard to tell since they cancelled the meeting isn't it?
As the meeting was cancelled last minute they should have been on the way already no? Is that the case?

Rolling over and accepting everything is meant ti be sarcastic no with all the Working conditions an non-contractual acquired rights you already have??

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Boeing767copilot »

Phoenixx wrote:
17 May 2019, 15:49
Boeing767copilot wrote:
17 May 2019, 13:59
There have been rumors that ATCOs and unions asked additional fees. Amounts from 40,000 to 60,000 euros extra are mentioned. Is that correct, Phoenixx?
I laughed a bit.
We have been refusing any and all financial benefits because that has always where we lost all sympathy and honestly money can not solve the issues this is about, which are work life balance, following rules and respecring the staff.
Maybe management made a calculation that one or all of our demands would cost the company this much to make our demands seem absurd (I strongly doubt it since we simply want our rights and rules respected), but I can tell you we did not make a demand for any additional fees, and surely not for amounts this ridiculously high. I have never even heard this before, where did you get this information if I may ask?
I thought something like that. Many statements difficult to check in the last days. It came from a woman working in the cabinet of one of our federal politicians, close to the mediators.
So not really reliable if you ask me. 😌

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Passenger »

One just has to browse through the Skeyes press releases to find proof it was more about bonuses then “reducing workload”:

1. Skeyes: “De premies voor nachtdiensten wordt aangepast”. Translated: more bonuses for night shifts.

2. Skeyes: “Er wordt een regeling van stand-by van kracht voor de nachtdiensten”. Translated: we’ll introduce a rule for being standby for night shifts. (most probably a rule with a price tag).

3. Skeyes: “Werkafspraken zouden in dat voorstel enkel gebaseerd zijn op goodwill, vrijwilligheid en financiële stimuli”. Translated: changes to the rostering will only be based on goodwill, voluntarism and financial stimuli.

4. Skeyes: “Alles samen zouden de voorstellen 7,5 miljoen euro kosten of 25.000 euro per jaar per betrokken luchtverkeersleider”. Translated: all together, the proposals from the management result in 7,5M € additional costs, or 25.000 € per atco per year.

Sources:
https://press.skeyes.be/sociaal-akkoord ... yes-232336
and
https://press.skeyes.be/skeyes-directie ... oord-komen

And let’s not forget the main demand: shortening of the work week from 35h/week to 32h/week, and from 35h/week to 30h/week for LGG. Compared to 2018, this will result in more then 4 weeks additional paid holiday (for BRU) and 8 weeks (for LGG).

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

Passenger wrote:
17 May 2019, 16:46
One just has to browse through the Skeyes press releases to find proof it was more about bonuses then “reducing workload”:
Yes, Scientology is not a cult, vaccins cause autism, the earth is flat and Clinton did not have relations with that woman.
I hope you're a sad pathetic troll, honestly.

Phoenixx
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

sean1982 wrote:
17 May 2019, 16:10

As the meeting was cancelled last minute they should have been on the way already no? Is that the case?

Rolling over and accepting everything is meant ti be sarcastic no with all the Working conditions an non-contractual acquired rights you already have??
Was cancelled few hours in advance, so most people didnt bother coming. What's the problem with that?
And no I was dead serious as they are taking away almost all of those good working conditions and our rights are a joke at the moment. We're not trying to get more in case you weren't paying attention, we are trying to actually have those rights respected and are trying to not have all those conditions except a good salary disappear.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by flightlover »

Passenger wrote:
17 May 2019, 16:46
One just has to browse through the Skeyes press releases to find proof it was more about bonuses then “reducing workload”:

1. Skeyes: “De premies voor nachtdiensten wordt aangepast”. Translated: more bonuses for night shifts.
Aangepast translates as adjusted, so,unless specified, it can be both up or down.
Passenger wrote:
17 May 2019, 16:46
2. Skeyes: “Er wordt een regeling van stand-by van kracht voor de nachtdiensten”. Translated: we’ll introduce a rule for being standby for night shifts. (most probably a rule with a price tag).
An assumption, and if a fee is involved I think it is justified as it is with loads of other jobs where standby's are available. (standby meaning: you have to be available for work in a set time after call-out)
Passenger wrote:
17 May 2019, 16:46
3. Skeyes: “Werkafspraken zouden in dat voorstel enkel gebaseerd zijn op goodwill, vrijwilligheid en financiële stimuli”. Translated: changes to the rostering will only be based on goodwill, voluntarism and financial stimuli.
Should be joined with nr 2 and same answer applies.
Although this might also imply extra shifts where it would seem quite medieval if they would force you to give up your day off. Lack of staff will mean a lot more goodwill will have to be available among the workforce. Financial stimuli might help achieve that goal. (Out of own experience I can tell there is an end to that.)
Passenger wrote:
17 May 2019, 16:46
4. Skeyes: “Alles samen zouden de voorstellen 7,5 miljoen euro kosten of 25.000 euro per jaar per betrokken luchtverkeersleider”. Translated: all together, the proposals from the management result in 7,5M € additional costs, or 25.000 € per atco per year.
Well, what would be the equivalent number of atco's you can pay from that kind of money?
Passenger wrote:
17 May 2019, 16:46
And let’s not forget the main demand: shortening of the work week from 35h/week to 32h/week, and from 35h/week to 30h/week for LGG. Compared to 2018, this will result in more then 4 weeks additional paid holiday (for BRU) and 8 weeks (for LGG).
I think I haven't seen that demand being made by the atco's but rather suggested by the management.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by jan_olieslagers »

Extensive analysis, quite correct as far as I can judge:
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2019/05/17 ... angsommen/

* comparison with Netherlands: they have long-term planning AND a flag carrier with international fame; on the contrary Belgium has no long term planning, the current government has decided nothing during its five-year tenancy, and Belgian assets have been sold abroad, often for peanuts; including SN and Brussels Airport
* everybody is dissatisfied with politicians in general
* Mr. Bellot in particular has realised nothing zero nada, in fact has not even done anything (visibly)
* ATC staff have repeatedly appealed to politicians, up to and including the prime minister, asking above all "to be heard" - but they never were
* politicians are unwilling to take corrective action, because that would imply admitting fault; politicians never like to do that, especially not with elections approaching rapidly
* neither side is in the least open to the other side's feelings and arguments, there is no "room in the middle"
* yet someone will have to give way, at least partially

The one point I miss in this analysis: if politicians did not move, it was at least partly because the issue was not "hot news". So perhaps the guild of journalists could take part of the blame on themselves, for not having brought the issue under the spotlights. But they will perhaps blame ATC staff, who did not, or insufficiently, contact them?
Last edited by jan_olieslagers on 18 May 2019, 10:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by sn-remember »

Call the military in. President Reagan did that during his tenure when faced with ATC striking. It was effective. I don't know if it's feasable in B. But one thing is sure, the strike must end now.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Acid-drop »

Great summary.
Point 1 is maybe key, I wouldnt be surprised if the solution comes from Wallonia, where aviation is one of the crown jewel and where everybody seems to agree
My messages reflect my personal opinion which may be different than yours. I beleive a forum is made to create a debate so I encourage people to express themselves, the way they want, with the ideas they want. I expect the same understanding in return.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by jan_olieslagers »

Call the military in.
Nonsense. "Why" has been explained several times, in this thread and before.
I wouldnt be surprised if the solution comes from Wallonia
Yes, indeed. The one point I distrust is that "some" might be pushing for that: for Wallonia to actually ask for regionalisation. Which brings the matter closer than ever to politics.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Bracebrace »

jan_olieslagers wrote:
18 May 2019, 08:34
* politicians are unwilling to take corrective action, because that would imply admitting fault; politicians never like to do that, especially not with elections approaching rapidly
Yet people forget unions ARE politics. There is no difference. Representatives are elected, they have a color, and have advantages coming with the position. From the moment you chose a union, you are "colored" and you "join ranks".

And yes I am in a union because I want some kind of LEGAL protection in case I end up making mistakes, and yes everyday I want to leave because that protection was political colored from day 1 I joined.

No need to make a difference between unions and politics here.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by SR20 »

Bracebrace wrote:
18 May 2019, 11:00
Yet people forget unions ARE politics. There is no difference. Representatives are elected, they have a color, and have advantages coming with the position. From the moment you chose a union, you are "colored" and you "join ranks".

......

No need to make a difference between unions and politics here.
Just a reaction about your statement.
In this case it's weird to see that ACV/CSC is opposed to a CD&V CEO (although rumours say he has been excluded from CD&V and has shifted to NVA)
The only union who agreed with him is the socialist labeled ACOD/CGSP. Not the NVA best friends !

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Bracebrace »

I understand that, but I am referring to how political organisations function in relation to admitting faults and elections. Unions are no different. They don't do what is "best", they do what is best in their own interest, and there is a lot of abuse in unions (especially in companies related to state-ownership in some way). And when you are a member, you lose freedom in the interest of possible abuse. Same with politics.

Union representatives are not selected, they are elected.

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